John Stott Memorial Birding Day 8 May 2021
This year the well known and loved pastor, theologian and fanatical birder, the late Rev. John Stott would have marked his 100th birthday. John Stott is well known for his bible commentaries, books and sermons but it may surprise many that he had a bird list of over 2500 species observed in his life time. Stott was more than an amateur ornithologist: he was an ‘ornitheologist’ who took Christ’s words on the Sermon on the Mount to heart, to “consider the birds” (Luke 12:24) and learn faith lessons from the ‘birds of the air’. These faith lessons, wonderfully described in his book, The Birds Our Teachers, are the faith lessons he taught the many young people who had the privilege of spending time birding with this great man. For John Stott, birdwatching and disciple making went hand in hand.
It is to this end that A Rocha South Africa is joining the global A Rocha family to participate in the inaugural John Stott Memorial Birding Day. This A Rocha family event commemorates and celebrates John Stott’s legacy as a theologian and birder and his friendship and support of A Rocha in his centennial year.
The event will be held on 8 May, 2021, coinciding with the ‘Global Big Day’ and we will be using the associated eBird Database to facilitate some of our activities and to benefit bird conservation through citizen science.
There are five ways you can participate in the John Stott Memorial Birding Day:
1.Compete in the bird race.
2. Enter the photography competition.
3. Go on a personal or group retreat using resources we have created.
4. Contribute a story about birdwatching with John Stott and enjoy stories others have submitted
5. Bid for a painting, bird book or a weekend away in the fundraising auction or make a donation to A Rocha in John Stott’s memory.
For more information on how to participate visit www.johnstottbirdingday .com and join the John Stott Memorial Birding Day Facebook group to stay connected.
A Rocha South Africa is hoping that birding parties will fan out across the country on 8 May recording as many bird species as possible. As a base of operations we will be working from the A Rocha Kuzuko Memorial Bird Hide (Greater Addo area) where Dr Mark Brown will be running a bird ringing station and where you can join knowledgeable bird guides in searching for new birds to add to your list. For costs and bookings please follow this link and consult Kuzuko. In addition, each birding party spread throughout our country becomes a remote station adding valuable data via the eBird app and participating with photographs, videos and special sightings through the Facebook group. This is the most wonderful opportunity to get a small group of birders from your church, and perhaps a few other to ‘consider the birds’, enjoy the birds and list them on the eBird app. To support and coordinate your birding effort on this day, please connect with us by replying to this email and we will be in contact with you with further information